Editor’s Note: Want to spice up your usual evening at home on the couch? We’re sharing this article, originally published in March of 2021, as a way to bring a fresh approach to your next at-home date night.
Home is where the heart is. And you know what the heart is known for, right? Love! Love love love love love.
While our homes are no doubt full of so much love—family memories, sweet mementos, the people you hold dear—sometimes the day-to-day hustle and bustle can overwhelm the more tender, and still very necessary, moments you need for your relationship to thrive.
No matter how happy you are in your relationship, it’s important to take the time to simply enjoy one another’s presence. Coworking in the same home office, no matter how fun, does not count.
While a lovey-dovey low-light date night out with linen-clothed tables and smartly-dressed waiters is amazing, sometimes it’s not doable. Sometimes your travel capacity is your own square footage, and the evening special is… whatever’s in the fridge.
That doesn’t mean the night has to be a bust.
If you’re open to it, there are so many at-home date night ideas to make your evening special.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money (or anything, if you don’t want to), but you do have to be open to trying something new and maybe feeling foolish for a second or two as you embark on your date night adventure. Here are twenty-two creative ideas to get you started on your at-home date night journey (almost all of which could also be done with a roommate, a family member, or with yourself). Don’t worry—the “What are we doing?” feelings will pass and the fun will remain.
Sing your hearts out
Make it nice
Isolate yourselves in separate areas of the house while you get dressed in your fanciest clothes, then do a big reveal. Take out the special-occasion dishes and splurge on a nice vintage (or go for your favorite cheap bubbles in fancy coupe glasses).
Do you have a chessboard that’s been sitting unused since you bought it post-Queen’s Gambit binge? Take it out! Here’s a guide to getting started.
Well + Good has a list of five poses that are perfect for beginners (and don’t require acrobatic training).
Okay…now is as good a time as any to try Baby Foot. Throw on some face masks and relax. You could give each other manicures! You could curate each other’s skin-care routines! Did you know that trading back rubs technically counts as a couples massage?
Around the world
Pick a destination, any destination. Are you missing your Basque vacation? Grab a bottle of Txakolina and learn a traditional dance. Cheesecake for dessert, anyone? You can cross the border to France in the morning—make sure the croissants are ready.
A double feature
You both pick a movie—your individual favorites or one old and one new! If one of you is known to fall asleep during a film, start early. Hit the couch and pop some popcorn (the best part of being home is choosing how much butter goes on it).
Check with your local shops for tasting kits or build your own with an online tutorial. Though a bit spendy, winemakers like Matthiasson offer tasting selections that can be delivered to your front doorstep complete with a complimentary Zoom guide. Make sure to construct a proper cheese board to match, and if you don’t like wine… try a chocolate tasting!
Vision board making
Cut down on the magazines and figure out some long-term goals while you’re at it.
Patrons of the arts
One perk of technology: live theater and concerts from the comfort of your own home. What or who do you want to see? Chances are it’s a quick Google away.
The “36 Questions That Lead to Love”
Read to each other
There’s something very romantic about a nice poem read aloud. Crack open your copy of Mary Oliver’s Devotions and recite your heart out.
A classic for good reason. Save the dishes for morning.
A living room picnic
No furniture. No ants, either.
A digital experience
Play a video game
If your Switch has been sitting idle, dust it off. Mario Kart and Just Dance are always good ideas.
Put your records on
Pick an album and listen to it, the whole way through.
Or draw, sculpt, or knit. Pick a subject to focus on and see what you come up with separately—no peeking. If you like what you come up with, your walls will thank you.
Work on a puzzle
A perfect excuse for some easy conversation, and juuust enough competition. Who will get the last piece?
Challenge each other to create a PowerPoint on a topic, whatever you choose! There’s no need for stage fright with an audience of one. Especially if it’s someone you love.
A neighborhood walk
A nice stroll through your regular stomping grounds can look different—and romantic—at twilight. Walk slowly and enjoy.
Make big plans
A toast to your future! Make it a point to sit and talk about your hopes and dreams. The vacations you’ll go on someday, the linen-clothed dinner tables you’ll enjoy eventually.
Sophie Vilensky (@sophiavilensky on Instagram and Twitter or if you met her in second grade) is a Real Housewives scholar and naturopath’s daughter. At this point in time these things are very important to her.